Hospice: Things can be unpredictable!
Tomorrow it will be four weeks since we got the call that Steve had been sent to the hospital in an ambulance, followed a few days later by a diagnosis of end-stage liver disease and a prognosis of three weeks to three months to live.
The next week he was moved to a residential hospice. Two weeks ago tonight, we had a call that he was not expected to live through the night. But he did.
A week ago we were back down visiting him, fixing him a pie, and taking his dogs to visit him. He didn’t move from the bed. In fact, he didn’t even sit up. We had a few one sentence conversations.
The hospice doctor felt that his condition had stabilized however, and plans were underway for Steve to move to a residential hospice facility for less critically ill patients.
Tuesday, after we were back home, Steve called me and we had a very lucid ten-minute conversation — something that hadn’t happened at all during our visits. And he has continued making phone calls, and having long conversations, all week.
Friday he was able to get up and walk with assistance. Saturday he was able to walk with one cane and go to a nearby BBQ place for lunch with his brother.
It’s been a strange, stressful, roller coaster ride so far. We’re thankful Steve is enjoying some better days, sort of an unexpected bonus for him. But even that adds to the stress, trying to manage contingencies, handling location changes, dealing with his changing needs.
It’s a reminder that dying is an unpredictable and individual thing.
We can’t know what things will happen next, only that they’re unpredictable. So we take one day at a time, all too aware that we’re not in control.
Thanks so much for those who have provided words of encouragement and support and especially prayers. It helps keep us going.